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Tanya Baker: What Forest Fires Tell Us About the Brain

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Tanya Baker: What Forest Fires Tell Us About the Brain


Published 2006


This is a talk given at the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, UC Berkeley on
December 5, 2006. Speaker is Tanya Baker from the University of Chicago.

Abstract:
The dynamics of large networks of spiking neurons resembles closely that of forest fires. During such events forests contain green, burned and burning trees; likewise neural networks contain sensitive, refractory and activated neurons. We show how models of neuronal activity, both as standard forest fires as well as networks of integrate and fire neurons, are capable of displaying a variety of interesting behavior. These include long-range, power law temporal correlations in the inter-spike interval histograms, criticality, stochastic resonance in the noise driven appearance of spirals of neural activity, traveling waves, and localized clusters of activated and refractory neurons which move around. Although mean field analysis is sufficient for the characterization of population behavior away from criticality, the analysis at the critical state requires the methods of statistical neural field theory to explicitly incorporate the effects of fluctuations.


Producer Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience
Audio/Visual sound, color
Contact Information Kilian Koepsell Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience University of California Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute 132 Barker, MC #3190 Berkeley, CA 94720-3190

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Reviews

Reviewer: strawberrykiwi - favoritefavoritefavorite - June 11, 2007
Subject: Analogies
An interesting theory about neural code and forest fire patterning. The speaker is oft-challenged by audience members; though their questions are mostly inaudible she seems to handle them deftly. Very poor quality in terms of video production, but the subject is great. Recommended, though not for beginners.
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